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UPDATE: Police release name of Topsail Beach drowning victim

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TOPSAIL BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- A Pender County woman is dead after witnesses say she went under in waters up to her neck at Topsail Beach Monday morning.

Topsail Beach police say the rescue call for help came in just before noon, but it was already too late to save the swimmer.

Police Chief Samuel Gervase says the drowning victim is a 66-year-old Laurel King from the beach community.

When rescue crews arrived on the scene, they say beach-goers were trying to perform CPR to revive the woman, but were unsuccessful.

Like many area beaches, Topsail does not employ lifeguards, so anyone who takes to the waves for a swim does so at his or her own risk.

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Tragic Drowning

It happens in less than a second. I was in a rip on my 10 year anniversary, on the very beach we were married at. Beautiful July day, bigger waves, but clean. I could almost see my feet under the water, until I saw a churned up, light brown muddish sea under me. I called to my daughter, who was 12 at the time that we needed to get out of the water. "oh ok" is what I heard. I yelled NOW Emily, she said but Mommy I'm trying...We survived, but it was close. I have never felt so terrified in my life, but I had the determination that if I went down..well she had no chance. Guilt? Oh absolutely. Checking the rip current forecast? Every time we go to the beach. Heartfelt sorrow for her family.

My heart goes out to her

My heart goes out to her family and friends.

drowning

There have been way to many drownings at our beaches this past summer. rip tides seem worse then in recent years. why is that?

Condolences to this woman's family.

why have the title be "well known woman" does it make it worse if one is "well known" and well known to whom?

re: drowning

From someone who was in that position and survived-

Tidal movements have been doing what they do since long before us. I think the reason they seem worse is that more people are going to the beach than in recent years.

Don't let these deaths be in vain... there are things you can do to minimize your risk:

They always say "swim parallel to shore when in a rip"... but when you're panicked for your life geometry is the last thing on your mind. Take a page from the "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe" and DON'T PANIC. Your own fear will kill you (and your potential rescuer) faster than the water.

Never go to the beach without a flotation device, i.e., surfboard, boogie board, life vest, water wings, anything... Could save your life or help you save someone else's.

If there are no lifeguards, SWIM NEAR SURFERS. Surfers are equipped and more than happy to pluck a struggling swimmer out of the water

My heart goes out to the families...